Banque Degroof has a unique approach to serving the Asian asset management and fund administration industry. An independent private and investment bank founded in Belgium in 1871, it is well positioned across Europe. In 2011 it made a significant strategic move into Asia via Hong Kong though its Luxembourg subsidiary. We spoke to Geert de Bruyne and John Pauly about their plans.
How has Banque Degroof managed to differentiate itself?
John Pauly: What sets us apart from other operators is that we service institutional clients with the same care as we do for a private individual’s wealth. Being a privately owned bank gives Banque Degroof Luxembourg a culture and a very special perspective on dealing with private clients. We bring this private banking approach to the institutional market, which leads to a unique value proposition when dealing with company and investment fund clients.
What is your strategy and vision for the Asian market?
Geert de Bruyne: Banque Degroof Luxembourg opened its representative office in Hong Kong two years ago which outlined a key development in our strategy opening the door to work closer with Asian markets. We seriously believe in the region future potential.
John Pauly: Banque Degroof Luxembourg has been sought after in Hong Kong for its ability to offer functionality, knowhow and a good pipeline. Our main drive has been to make it easier for key clients to interact with asset managers and middle office within the same time zone.
Banque Degroof Luxembourg offers an added value through technology, regulatory expertise and the Hong Kong office allows us to be close to clients at the crucial moments before a trade goes to the market.
Geert de Bruyne: We have big expectations for Degroof Asset Management in Hong Kong. We believe business volumes will rise and the operation will break even next year.
What are your recommendations for Asian asset managers?
John Pauly: Luxembourg is the world leader in regulated, respected UCITS (undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities) and AIFs (Alternative Investment Funds) cross-border vehicles for retail and alternative funds. These quality labels have been proven to be the way to attract investors. Banque Degroof Luxembourg in particular offers the best vehicle to prepare its clients for a successful fund distribution. We are really good at getting them there.